UBS: That dog with fleas

In GIC on 10/02/2010 at 3:39 pm

The good news you can read in our MSM.

The bad news, that you may have missed, is that outflows from UBS’s wealth management and Swiss banking operations nearly doubled to SFr33bn compared with the previous quarter, and SFr12bn flowed out from the US wealth business. Like their rival Credit Suisse, and the smaller Swiss private banks, wealth management and Swiss banking operations are at the heart of UBS’s operations and profitability.

The ongoing problems with the US tax authorities are not going to help staunch the outflow in these areas. The US accused UBS of hiding nearly US$15bn in assets of US customers, and is seeking the account details of some of UBS’s US clients.

For what its worth, UBS  said they were confident that the long-running dispute with US tax authorities would be resolved.

Wondering why I blog so much on UBS? Two reasons.

One, is that UBS are a fascinating case study in what can go wrong in a super blue chip. When S’pore Inc bought into Merrill Lynch, Citi and UBS, I had concerns about the investments in the first two.  But UBS? Tot it was a no-brainer, dunk slam investment.

The other is that GIC manage our reserves: this is one major balls-up.


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